Welcome to the CU Boulder Special Collections, Archives, and Preservation department (SCAP) in Norlin Library.

Special Collections houses rare works and contemporary artworks that support teaching and research in the arts, humanities and sciences. Our collections include rare books, medieval manuscripts, contemporary artists’ books, and a signature photobook and photography collection. Special subject collections reflect the interests and research of the CU-Boulder community and the state. Our unit has an active instruction program and welcomes requests from Front Range educational communities.


Contact Deborah Hollis for more information about the CU Special Collections: Deborah.Hollis@colorado.edu

The Archives of Special Collections and Archives contain more than 1500 collections and 50,000 linear feet of materials, including manuscripts, correspondence, files, diaries, photographs, posters, newspapers and published works. Established in 1917, the Archives holds internationally renowned manuscript, photograph, records and media collections relating to Colorado, the Rocky Mountain West and transnational subjects. It also serves as a repository for the records of the University of Colorado Boulder.


Contact Megan Friedel for more information about the CU Archives: Megan.K.Friedel@colorado.edu

The Preservation unit supports the Library by providing preservation and conservation services to all Libraries’ collections including the general collection, special collections and archives. Some of the services Preservation provides are book repair, conservation assessments and treatments, preparation of newly acquired materials for shelving; bindery services including providing enclosures, and monographic and serial rebinds; and preparation of damaged or special materials for transfer to offsite storage.


In addition, Preservation evaluates the condition and treatment needs of individual collections and brittle or unbindable books. Preservation also establishes treatment plans for the collections based on current best practices.


Contact Lauren Stapleton for more information about CU's Preservation Unit: Lauren.Stapleton@colorado.edu

The SCA Reading Room (Norlin N345) is open to students, scholars, and members of the general public. Because of staffing levels, high instruction requests, and materials stored offsite, researchers should schedule an appointment in advance to use rare works and primary sources.  Paging of materials can take as much 72 hours.  Please request well in advance.   

For researchers hoping to view materials during Winter Break, please request specific titles or manuscript collections at least 72 hours prior to your visit. 

Please email SCA@colorado.edu or call 303-492-6144 to schedule an appointment.

All visitors must complete a short registration process and show a valid photo ID upon their first visit to the Reading Room.

You may also request copies and scans of materials for educational use.  Please keep in mind any copyright and permissions restrictions.

For more information, please contact Director of Special Collections, Archives & Preservation, Heather Ryan.